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The year in numbers: bear rescues, petitions, workshops and hundreds of tonnes of fruit and veg

29 December 2017

From feeding our rescued bears in China more than 100 metric tonnes of fruit and veg to one historic agreement to end bear bile farming in Vietnam within five years – here’s what we’ve achieved over the past 12 months.


Bear Bile Farming

We signed one groundbreaking Memorandum of Understanding with the Vietnamese government, promising a complete end to bear bile farming in the country by the year 2022, and a life of freedom for the 1,000 bears currently held on farms in that country.

The historic handshake between Animals Asia and Vietnam Administration of Forest

In Chengdu, our China Bear Rescue Centre (CBRC) held four events at malls to promote moon bear protection, reaching an estimated 5,000 people.

We rescued 18 bears from bile farms across Vietnam and brought them to the beginning of happy new pain-free lives at our Vietnam sanctuary. Tragically, moon bear Rocky died soon after his arrival but the other 17 continue to go from strength to strength.

We established four herb gardens in partnership with local traditional medicine doctors in Vietnam’s Ha Giang, Tay Ninh, and Vinh Phuc provinces. 4,363 plants of 30 types of herbs that can be used in place of bear bile are now growing in the gardens.

The Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre's Education Team gave presentations about the bears to 886 students in schools around Vietnam. 

In Vietnam’s Phung Thuong Village – a hotspot for bear bile farming just outside Hanoi – we organised eight public events, supported by rangers, local government and the Traditional Medicine Association that offered free health checks by traditional medicine doctors to 1,450 people, who received 1,500 bottles of herbal rubbing medicine containing five herbal alternatives to bear bile.


At our sanctuaries

Bears at our China Bear Rescue Centre chomped on more than 102,547kg of fruit and vegetables –  the weight of around 55 modern cars!

Bazan (1)

Bears at our China Bear Rescue Centre slurped more than 27,240 congee shakes.

The China Bear Rescue Centre carried out more than 40 educational activities, reaching more than 120,000 people. That’s more than twice the size of a full house at a large sports stadium.

3,572 visitors to the Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre were educated on bear bile farming issues – 1,562 of which were students of all ages from 23 different schools.

A South African dental specialist flew to Vietnam to perform root canals on five bears at the Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre, relieving them of suffering caused by years of captivity on bear bile farms.

Bears at the China Bear Rescue Centre snacked on 70 jars of stinky tofu, 1,780kg of dried fruit, 112 jars of strawberry jam, 544kg of nuts, and 127 jars of plum paste. Yum.

At our Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre we carried out integrations involving 115 bears this year, introducing them to new friends and making more space for new rescued bears to arrive.



Captive Animal Welfare

We opposed the activities of over 30 zoos in Indonesia and revealed the cruelty suffered by hundreds of captive animals through exposés. Our work resulted in three zoos ending human interactions with animals including orangutans and sun bears.


Our work has shone a light on the cruelty inflicted on many hundreds of performance animals in over 40 zoos in China while gaining support to oppose these activities. This has resulted in the closing of four traveling circuses being closed by authorities, three zoos ending their animal performance, and an end to the use of animals in the annual Int. Circus Festival in Zhuhai.

More than 1,000 vets in China learned about anaesthetics and pain management from our workshops led by China Bear Rescue Centre veterinarian Emily Drayton, and held in partnership with global animal health company Zoetis.

 We raised awareness of the suffering of buffalos used in buffalo fighting in Vietnam, resulting in 86% of Vietnamese citizens voicing their opposition to the Do Son Buffalo Fighting Festival via an online survey.


Cat and Dog Welfare

In Yulin, China – where the annual Yulin dog meat festival takes place – Ya Dong (a consulting company wholly owned and advised by Animals Asia) placed large-scale light box advertisements in bus stations across the city promoting compassion for dogs and cats, reaching a potential 300,000 commuters with the message that animals are our friends.

We were responsible for reporting 70 dog meat restaurants to local governments in six cities, resulting in government investigations into 33 of those restaurants. During the year, a total of 48 restaurants (some reported in 2016) closed or stopped selling dog meat in response to our work – potentially saving more than 40,000 dogs a year.

Ya Dong’s Dr Dog and Professor Paws therapy programmes in mainland China and Hong Kong saw 270 Dr Dog, 124 Professor Paws activities and 105 Public education events, bringing puppy love to more than 13,420 people in schools, hospitals, homes for the elderly, and facilities catering to those with disabilities.

We distributed more than 21,933 posters and leaflets to more than 58 organisations and individuals in over 41 cities in China, in support of their public awareness and education activities to promote cat and dog welfare, reaching a total of 109,665 people.

In China, our “Cat and Dog Welfare Around Us” film was played 1,021 times in public areas and in 76 schools in more than 30 cities in China – reaching more than 88,000 people.

In China, Ya Dong offered support to 20 cat and dog shelters in 20 cities, providing vaccines and medical treatments to more than 3,500 animals in need.

*All of Animals Asia’s Cat and Dog Welfare activities in China are officially carried out by Ya Dong Consulting.


In the Media

 Our investigation into international supermarket chain Carrefour, exposing their sales of dog meat in China and resulting in the removal of the cruel products from its shelves, was covered in media outlets including Yahoo!, Newsweek, New York Post, Daily Mail, the Guardian, the Washington Post, and many more, reaching a potential audience of more than 200 million readers.

In the US, Jill Robinson was interviewed on the prestigious radio program “Morning Edition” on NPR, educating approximately 13 million listeners about the cruelties of bear bile farming.

Our messages promoting animal welfare reached over 45 million Chinese citizens via our social media channels.

More than 2.3 million people in China peered at China Bear Rescue Centre resident moon bears as they played, tumbled, foraged, and climbed via a livestream, thanks to Neteas, one of China’s leading internet portals. 

Animals Asia’s videos educating the public about animal cruelty and celebrating rescued bears were watched more than 3.7 million times on Facebook.


Our Supporters around the World

In September, UK supporters tackled Mount Snowdon to raise funds for Animals Asia. Altogether they climbed more than 40,000 metres – equivalent to nearly four and a half times the height of Mount Everest

2017-09-16 11.33.40

Our North American volunteer groups participated in 24 events, reaching over 50,000 people in six US states and three Canadian provinces.

Animals Asia volunteer Kai Madden completed all 26 miles of the London Marathon in a sweltering moon bear costume, raising funds and awareness for the bears.

2017 Kai Madden London Marathon (60)

In September, more than 50 people grabbed their tennis racquets to raise funds at our second “Balls for Bears” round robin tennis tournament at the Tennis Valley Club in Sydney, Australia, with live music by Animals Asia ambassador Peter Northcote and Guy Delandro.

The US Animals Asia team travelled over 10,600 miles to participate in eight Veg Fests throughout North America, introducing more than 108,000 people to Animals Asia in six months.

In the UK, we had representation by Animals Asia staff or volunteers at approximately 225 face-to-face events, that’s more than one event every other day in the UK alone!

In Australia, more than 2,000 people cut out and folded paper moon bears in a show of support for bears held captive on bile farms in Asia.

While these numbers are impressive, even more so are the millions of people around the world who make Animals Asia’s work possible. Without you, nothing happens – and we can never thank you enough for the privilege to work on your behalf, till the cruelty ends.